Jigabyte brings online entertainment to the coffee table
Sitting on the sofa watching videos or surfing the internet using a tablet or laptop is all well and good, but sometimes you need a bigger screen or want to share what you've found with family and friends. There are touch-enabled coffee tables available that family and friends can gather around, but they can be rather expensive. British startup Jigabyte has joined the touchscreen coffee table party and aims to significantly reduce the cost of entry.
Ideum out of Corrales, New Mexico, is a good example of a company that's been selling interactive coffee tables for a while. The design and specs have been refreshed since our initial coverage, with Duet and Pico models now coming with UHD resolution, 8th Gen Intel Core processors, dedicated graphics, lots of RAM and plenty of storage. And they can now be had in 43, 49 and 55 inch sizes.
Jigabyte's entry into the interactive coffee table market may not have all the bells and whistles of other models, but it is a good deal cheaper.
To the top of the blackened wood frame is a 32 inch 1080p capacitive touch display which can show background images that auto change every few minutes until a touch activates the table mode. Two browser windows can be opened at the same time and can be rotated 360 degrees so that info, animations, games and videos can be shared with folks sitting around the table. There's support for pinch and zoom and audio is thrown out from built-in speakers.
Table mode is an in-house application that acts as an operating system, and runs on top of Windows 7. The user can switch to pure Windows 7 mode so that the coffee table can be used just like a computer using a virtual onscreen keyboard or a physical keyboard and mouse.
On the choice of an outdated OS to run the new device, Wrightson says that driver compatibility informed his decision, though he sees "no reason why this can't or won't be migrated to Windows 10 in the near future, it is a matter of time and testing." Bizarrely, though the main function of the 900 x 550 x 400 mm (35.4 x 21.6 x 15.7 in) coffee table is online entertainment, there's no mention of wireless or wired LAN capabilities.
The computer system running the show is available with up to Core i7 processing brains, though not the latest flavor – the Jigabyte system features 4th Gen Intel chips. The base model comes with Core i3 brains, which the company's Clive Wrightson says should be "more than is required to give a smooth graphical experience in browser/table mode." System RAM adds up to 4 GB and there's 250 GB of HDD storage, with SSD available as an option.
The Jigabyte coffee table is available now for £1,995 (about US$2,500). You can see some browser and YouTube action in the video below.